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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: Holy Planet of Ixth vs.Surprise Assault rss

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Daniel Aztec
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Holy Planet of Ixth has been passed. (No units may be built at the elected planet). Can the owner of the planet use Surprise Assault (which allows him to build at a blockaded space dock) to temporarily overrule the political agenda, provided that the conditions for the action card are met?

The FAQ provides the following ruling:
Q: Many different Political, Action, and Technology cards
modify, set, or limit the same numerical variables in the game.
For example, the political card “Humane Labor” lowers the
Production limit of Space Docks, while the Tech Card “Enviro
Compensator” increases it. In what order are multiple effects
resolved that affect the same variable?

A: First, all Political Cards, in the order that they entered the
game, affect variables. Then your Technology cards affect
the same variables (with multiple relevant Tech cards being
resolved in an order of the owners choice), and at last, the
Action Cards affect the variables, in the order that such Action
Cards were resolved. In this way, “Humane Labor” lowers the
production limit of Space Docks to 2, but the Tech “Enviro
Compensator,” for example, would add one additional capacity
for its owner (raising his limit to 3).

This only explains how variables are modified. The Holy Planet of Ixth does not say "this planet may only produce 0 units," which would qualify as a variable, but rather "this planet may not produce any units." Likewise, Surprise Assault does not say "this planet may produce x+2 units, where x is equal to the planets resource value," which would qualify as a variable, but rather "you may build at your blockaded space dock(s)." I think there was a similar discussion a while back as to whether or not "free" meant "0" when it came to purchasing technology.

The ruling applies to variables. Does this extend to non-variables as well? Or do we consider the ability to build as governed by a truth value, which is a variable as well?

Or does the "may" in Surprise Assault imply that there are circumstances where it cannot be used? And, therefore, if the Holy Planet of Ixth Agenda is out, then is the Surprise Assault action card is useless on that planet? Could it be considered that even though you have permission to build, the planet does not?
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Necessary Evil
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My gut tells me the law would over rule the AC.

-M
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Scott Lewis
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Based on the FAQ entry quoted, I would say the AC trumps the law. It's a surprise, after all, even to the Holy Ixthians who are preventing the building.

However, in practice, I think this would be a rare situation, since in every game I've been in, if the Holy Plant of Ixth is chosen on a planet with a dock, that dock gets scrapped during the next Status Phase so it can be built elsewhere.
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Brian Petersen
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My gut agrees.

Surprise Assault also doesn't work on HS SDs.

Holy Planet of Ixth also now needs a clarification for whether Arborec GFs (Or Multiculturalism'd GFs) can produce units on that planet, as it says planet and not Space Dock on this planet. Other situations use the word "place" and not "produce" so need no clarification.

The logic statement for this conflict you speak of is that Holy Planet of Ixth is putting the restriction that your Space Dock cannot produce any units, ships or ground. Being blockaded means your Space Dock cannot produce any ships. Surprise Assault is allowing you to remove the restriction that you cannot build ships while under blockade.

Two effects are saying that you cannot build ships, one of which was removed by Surprise Assault. The other is still active.
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Scott Lewis
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TomBoombs wrote:
Surprise Assault also doesn't work on HS SDs.

Why wouldn't it? There's nothing in the text of Surprise Assault that says it can't be used in a Home System.
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Daniel Aztec
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sigmazero13 wrote:
However, in practice, I think this would be a rare situation, since in every game I've been in, if the Holy Plant of Ixth is chosen on a planet with a dock, that dock gets scrapped during the next Status Phase so it can be built elsewhere.


For the most part, you're right. This is, in fact, a pretty unique situation. The victim of Ixth and I (for we are friends. He's shielding my border) consulted on this, and decided not to scuttle it for a variety of reasons. First, the action card "Massive Transport" would allow him to place that space dock on another planet, where it would have cost him 4 resources otherwise.

Second, and more importantly, we didn't have much influence when the law was passed, but now we control 57% of the votes (a combination of Mallice, Arinam and Meer, Mecatol Rex, and the Usurper action card), so we're waiting for a repeal or revote or something like that. Third, his empire is rather cramped, so he's only needed 2 space docks thus far. It seems silly to scrap one when it isn't needed elsewhere.


TomBoombs wrote:

Surprise Assault also doesn't work on HS SDs.


Also, the Surprise Assault action card says nothing about home systems. All that it talks about are space docks.

TomBoombs wrote:

Holy Planet of Ixth also now needs a clarification for whether Arborec GFs (Or Multiculturalism'd GFs) can produce units on that planet, as it says planet and not Space Dock on this planet.


I think that Arborec ground forces would be treated like space docks in this case, as, like you said, the restriction is on the planet, not just the units on the planet. However, I think that Arborec ground forces in space above the planet are exempt, as they are far above the troublesome Ixthians. For the record, I am banning religion in my empire. It's too dangerous.

TomBoombs wrote:

The logic statement for this conflict you speak of is that Holy Planet of Ixth is putting the restriction that your Space Dock cannot produce any units, ships or ground. Being blockaded means your Space Dock cannot produce any ships. Surprise Assault is allowing you to remove the restriction that you cannot build ships while under blockade.

Two effects are saying that you cannot build ships, one of which was removed by Surprise Assault. The other is still active.


The question now is, does the action card remove that one restriction (being blockaded) or all restrictions? It's quite clear that the action card has the power to overrule blockades, as per its very specific text, but can it allow you build (as per its somewhat ambiguous text)?

Also, the Surprise Assault action card does not specifically state that you may only build ships.
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Brian Petersen
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I got the FAQ entry for Rally of the People confused with this AC.

While Surprise Assault doesn't say you must build only ships, its main purpose is to build ships to combat the enemy in your blockaded system, and you're free to build on the planet with or without it (excluding this fringe case)
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